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Ron, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 23001
Experience:  23 years with Ford specializing in drivability and electrical and AC. Ford certs and ASE Certs
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I have a 2004 F150 with a 5.4 Triton V8. story short - the

Customer Question

I have a 2004 F150 with a 5.4 Triton V8.
Long story short - the plug in cylinder #4 is broken off in the head. The shop tells me the threads on the plug cylinder are stripped. Don't know if i believe them, but they say the plug extraction tool won't screw into the hole to remove the broken off part. They tell me the only option is to pay the $5K to pull the engine and head. I'd like to think I'm not the first F150 owner this has happened to, and there is an alternative to pulling the whole engine. Isn't there a procedure to retap the threads in the hole and extract the broken plug?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  AZTechBrian replied 8 months ago.

The spark plug threads in the cylinder head are stripped out, so as a result they are unable to thread the extractor tool into the head to extract the broken portion of the plug? is that correct?

Expert:  AZTechBrian replied 8 months ago.

If that's the case, they need to install a spark plug insert. I understand it's a tight space, so they will probably have to use a small right angle pneumatic drill to drill it out and take their time, but I don't understand why they would need to remove the engine for this. . If you'd like I can send you a link to a kit specifically for this. Once the spark plug insert is installed they will be able to thread their tool into the opening and extract the broken part of the plug. And, no, this is absolutely NOT the first time this has happened.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Is this something I need a Ford specialist to do? The mechanics I've visited don't seem to feel comfortable trying this.
Expert:  AZTechBrian replied 8 months ago.

I'm sure if you were to try a ford technician, he has a much better chance of having encountered this issue before. They make a kit specifically to repair the spark plug threads in these engines so the engine doesn't have to be removed and disassembled. I don't know what they have to lose since they are suggesting removing the engine and replacing the cylinder head anyway. Here is the kit. Another option is a time sert which is cheaper but this is a far better option. I would save pulling the engine as a last resort.


Expert:  AZTechBrian replied 8 months ago.

actually, i shouldn't say that this is far better than a time sert. I have used time serts and had no issues on spark plug threads.

Expert:  AZTechBrian replied 8 months ago.

Does that help at all? please let me know so I can make sure that you have gotten the answers you need. Thank you.